We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter
your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you
can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
Read more about the life story of Jean M. and share your memory.
It is with sad hearts that the family of Jean Panaccione Vitale wishes to express their love to all at the passing of the family matriarch.
Jean was born on July 6, 1923 in Newark, New Jersey, five years before the advent of sliced bread. She was the first child of her father, Pasquale Panaccione from Frosinone, Italy and her mother, Mary Montonelli of Pennsylvania. She was the oldest of six children. She attended Barringer High School in Newark and was always very proud of her awards in penmanship and geography during her time there.
The love of her life was her high school sweetheart, Vincent Vitale. They married before he was sent off to defend the United States of America in World War II. He landed on the beaches of Anzio, Italy and it was three years before his return to his country, his wife and a meeting with their first child, daughter Vivian. After his return, Jean and Vincent welcomed their son Louis and their younger daughter Deborah into their family.
In 1951, they moved to Long Branch where Vincent and other family members became established building contractors who constructed many of the apartment buildings which are still standing today.
Jean's life was full of fun and excitement. Beautiful homes, exquisite clothing and magnificent jewelry were among her trademarks. She loved living an active life. Her enjoyment came wining, dining and dancing at The Surf Club, relaxing at Surfside Beach Club and the West End Casino in the summer and weekly trips to New York with her dearest friend, Marion Pallone, to have lunch and go to the theater.
Family gatherings at 701 Westwood Avenue were famous, especially at Christmas with Santa. With a nineteen-room house, there were always enough beds for everyone and at midnight, hot coconut buns and crumb buns from City Bakery. Jean loved cooking for family and friends and we cherish her Italian recipes. Jean and Vincent enjoyed traveling and making life-long friends. Their travels included Las Vegas, the Caribbean Islands, Hawaii, Italy, Monte Carlo, and Spain and Africa. Jean never tired of telling people her story about riding a camel.
Jean loved to gamble in Atlantic City and go on cruises with her husband, other family members and beloved friends. She was able to take many trips due to awards as top salesperson in Stern's fine jewelry department over the course of 18 years.
In 2003, her beloved Vinnie passed away. In 2006, she moved to Nobility Crest at Ocean where she was often the center of attention at the community events. Ocean Township, along with Senator Vin Gopal, and other dignitaries recently honored Jean with a citation commemorating her upcoming 100th birthday.
Jean leaves behind innumerable loved ones and family members. Her children, Vivian Fried (the late Dr. Alvin Fried), Louis Vitale (Kathleen) and Deborah Vitale. Grandchildren Jarrod Blum (Danielle) and Jamie Blum (Alan Salvestrini), Amy Vitale and Nicoll Vitale. Great-grandchildren Aaron, Charles, Taylor-Paige, Emily, Sara, Cassie and Jacob. Great-great grandchildren London, Caidon and Carter. And her beloved youngest sibling, Geraldine Bodnarchuk (Jerry). Extended family members also include Stephanie Solomon (Noah and Joseph), Debbie and Jeffrey Berlin (Jessica, David, Kaleb, Kaden, Scott, Ilana), Stephen and Angela Fried (Matthew, Deanna, Eric, Jennifer and Paige).
Jean was predeceased by her parents Mary and Patsy Panaccione, sisters Madeline Muscara and Genevive Willock and brothers Patsy, Jr. and Nicolas Panaccione.
Your loving family and beloved friends already miss you, but know you have been welcomed in Heaven by God, your beloved Vinnie, family and friends. We know you and Vinnie will enjoy eternity at the finest casino in heaven! You will never be forgotten and will always be in our hearts.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, May 8, 2023 at 11 am at the Church of St. Anselm, 1028 Wayside Road, Wayside. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Anselm Church in Jean's memory. The family invites you to leave a letter of condolence by selecting the Tribute/Guestbook link above.
Please enjoy these tribute videos by clicking the links below: